When we were little, our tree lay promise to great things to unwrap. Christmas morning was abuzz with excitement, although I admit it was torture waiting for Dad to finish his chores in order to begin.
Now with a family of my own, I try and slow down this time of the year to focus on thoughtful gift giving. Most years we come up with something to make like homemade vanilla to give friends and neighbors.
We also enjoy supporting other small businesses and organizations aimed at making the world a happier place. Here are a few that have made our list of gift giving and receiving.
Heat packs & eye pillows
Besides being practical, these heat packs and eye pillows are environmentally friendly. Each piece is made using repurposed fabrics and filled with organic seeds, berries and herbs, some of which come from the proprietor’s Martha’s Vineyard garden. Heat packs designed to calm aching bodies come in different sizes and a variety of fabrics and natural scents like lavender and white sage chamomile. The eye pillows are perfect for on-the-go relief.
Carrabassett Soap Company
With 14 naturally scented soaps to choose from, my favorites are Peppermint & Comfrey and Lemongrass with Calendula. These soaps moisturize rather than dry out skin, which is especially important this time of year.
Many Feet Farm
Alpaca socks & shoe insert
A friend told me about this Massachusetts farm that raises huacaya alpaca and uses their shavings for socks and shoe inserts. Their fiber is standard in the textile world, and is well known for its softness and warmth. When I checked out Many Feet’s online store, I saw they offer many more comfy items like infinity wraps, scarves, fingerless gloves, beanies and headbands.
Global Goods Partners
The goal of this socially conscious marketplace is to get women around the world out of poverty and into sustainable jobs by offering unique gifts for every age. Our favorites include the Hammered Brass Metallic Beaded Earrings and Large Hammered Silver Candle for women; Recycled Tire Wallet and Travel Kit for men; and the Knit Alpaca Stuffed Bunny and Felt Forest Pals Puppet Bag for kids.
I’ve been dropping hints lately, but I’ll have to wait until Dec. 25 to find out if they’ve been noted. I love the simplistic design of this Maine-made jewelry and the fact that the designer choses to use only sterling silver from recycled sources. Not only am I drawn to the jewelry, I support their mission to give back to their local community.
Blast Off Bath Kit
What child wouldn’t love a fizzy bath inspired by the moon and planets above? My son certainly would! So when I came across Miss Moonmaker’s bucket of all-natural, allergen-free moon rocks (sea salts), a shooting star (bath fizzie), planets (mini bath fizzies) and a wooden scoop made in Maine, I quickly added it to my son’s gift list.